This initial activity often is overlooked, but is extremely important and enables us to assess site conditions and advise our clients about how to proceed with maximum efficiency. By avoiding or minimizing impacts to wetlands or other sensitive areas prior to finalizing construction plans, our clients can eliminate lengthy delays and realize significant savings in both time and money. Often minor changes to an original set of plans will allow a project to proceed on schedule and can serve clients hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
Regulatory Process and Permitting
The regulatory process developed around wetlands, streams, archaeological sites, and other sensitive areas can be extremely complex and involve numerous meetings, field visits, and detailed paperwork filings. Often multiple agencies can be involved, each with its own set of requirements. MRW Environmental can handle the process from start to finish for our clients which allows them to concentrate on the project at hand.
Two of the principal regulatory statues that must be considered when wetlands or streams are involved are Section 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972. Section 401 requires that states issue a water quality certification permit (for all waters of the state, not just wetlands) for projects with potential impacts. In Tennessee, the permit is referred to as an Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) and is administered by TDEC. Section 404 regulates the discharge of fill material into navigable waters and connected waters included many types of wetlands. It is administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers. MRW Environmental thoroughly understands these statues and can determine when and if a statues is applicable. For example, some wetlands are considered "isolated" and will not be regulated under Section 404, thus the US Army Corps of Engineers will not be involved. We routinely coordinate with the regulatory agencies and assist them in making determinations. In all cases we work for our clients to ensure that no unnecessary regulations impact a proposed or ongoing project.